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Smoked Salmon question

Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,247
edited 9:40PM in EggHead Forum
My neighbor likes salmon and last week he found a supermarket special on whole Atlantic Salmon for like $ .39 per pound. They had 100 pounds and he bought it all. He fileted all of it and smoked it for about one day. I don't know how he smoked it because he does not have a smoker. He brought some to me and I found it extremely salty and not at all edible. I ended up taking it to a party and those who tasted it said the same thing. My question is, is it possible that he just used liquid smoke? Or is saltiness a characteristic of Atlantic Salmon? I want to smoke some on the BGE but I sure don't want it to turn out like his. Any advice would be appreciated.[p]Spring Chicken
Spring Texas USA


  • JSlotJSlot Posts: 1,218
    Salmon has no salty taste. My guess is he tried some kind of quick cure on it before smoking or just salted it way too much. Salmon is one of my favorites on the Egg. I've posted Steve Raichlen's Rum Smoked Salmon from "How To Grill" here before. The recipe uses a "quick cure" method of packing the salmon in a half and half (I think) mixture of brown sugar and salt and letting it sit in the fridge for a few hours. This imparts some flavor, very nice flavor I might add, but the main thing it does is draw most of the moisture out of the salmon. The finished product tastes better IMHO than any smoked salmon I have purchased commercially.[p]Jim
  • JSlot,
    Thanks. I was under the impression that a very slow smoke period is the best method. I believe the BGE is much faster. Also, I read that alder is the preferred smoking wood. Is it okay to use Atlantic salmon or should I spring for a better quality?[p]Spring Chicken

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,867
    Spring Chicken, he probably over marinated in something that was salty. salmon takes on flavor rapidly. even cooking with slices of lemon on top can at times over power the taste. i find that a simple sugar glaze towards the end of the cook such as the raging river maple recipe is best. teryaki sauce with honey and brown sugar is also good if lightly applied.
    one note, after experimenting with hundreds of land locks and broodstocks,and then applying the recipe to real atlantics, i find that the front of the fish tastes better if it is steaked and not filleted. fillet the tail end of the fish and you will have both steaks and fillets. the texture of the cooked fish is different. i usually give the tail end away.

  • JSlotJSlot Posts: 1,218
    It's all good, as far as I'm concerned! Wish I could see that 39¢ price around here!!![p]Jim
  • Spring Chicken,
    Thanks for the advice y'all. I suppose the best way to do it is start trying different methods and find one that fits my tastes. [p]Spring Chicken

  • JSlot,
    I'd like to second your recommendation of the Steve Raichlen recipe. It never ceases to amaze me how much moisture that salt & sugar mix will draw out of the fish.

  • Spring Chicken, I'm not sure why it was so salty, but... I smoke salmon on the egg several different ways. I like the following best: Mix yourself up a batch of dry jamaican jerk rub (find the recipie on Food Network or other grilling sites or just buy some) and dust the fish generously. Set up your egg with a fist full of Alder and a half fist full of maple wood and get the temp up around 275-300. Cook indirect for about one hour (about 2 lbs of fish), shut down and let dwell for about two to three hours. Before you shut it down you brush the fish with a mixture of honey and burbon. I use 1 shot burbon to 1 cup of honey. Brush on every 30 minutes while dwelling. No need to turn the salmon. Keep on the egg as long as you like (based on keeping some moisture in it). I don't like my salmon too dry. The combo of the jerk rub, burbon & honey will make you a happy camper. Give it a try... Sounds like you have a lot of salmon to experiment with. Later! Joe

  • I second the idea that he used some kind of "cure" on it. I come from the Pacific Coast where Chinook' s and King's are fresh, and not off the farm. The Indians slow smoke on boards around a wood fire like upright planks. You really don't need much at all on Salmon...just get it fresh. At .39 cents it had to be re-frozen and almost trash fish. That just never happens don't ever buy it at that price.

  • Spring Chicken,[p]Hope I'm not too late. I posted my recipe about a month ago or so. I smoked salmon at Eggtoberfest 2003. Please let me know if you can't find it.[p]DK

  • Spring Chicken,
    Hey, I'll bet your neighbor used a brine solution, either a store-bought mix, or one that he composed. I came really close to soaking a turkey too long, and it became saltier than I wanted. I would imagine salmon will absorb salt very quickly.[p]I intend to try salmon on the egg, and will probably try a brine that contains maple syrup---salmon and maple seem to go together well, but I will cut the cut the time to 4 - 6 hours the first time.[p]Good luck.

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